Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
For this challenge, you'll need to play Got It! Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
Can you explain how this card trick works?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can you dissect an equilateral triangle into 6 smaller ones? What
number of smaller equilateral triangles is it NOT possible to
dissect a larger equilateral triangle into?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Delight your friends with this cunning trick! Can you explain how
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Tom and Ben visited Numberland. Use the maps to work out the number of points each of their routes scores.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a
pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow
paint on their faces?
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
What can you say about these shapes? This problem challenges you to create shapes with different areas and perimeters.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Can you put the numbers 1-5 in the V shape so that both 'arms' have the same total?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
How many centimetres of rope will I need to make another mat just
like the one I have here?
In how many different ways can you break up a stick of 7 interlocking cubes? Now try with a stick of 8 cubes and a stick of 6 cubes.
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
Sweets are given out to party-goers in a particular way. Investigate the total number of sweets received by people sitting in different positions.
An investigation that gives you the opportunity to make and justify
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on
This challenge, written for the Young Mathematicians' Award, invites you to explore 'centred squares'.
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that
cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can
make? And the greatest?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
A package contains a set of resources designed to develop
pupils’ mathematical thinking. This package places a
particular emphasis on “generalising” and is designed
to meet the. . . .
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10